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ABOUT Charles

Food, fellowship and creation was the environment that Charles Zablan was exposed to growing up in the Philippines. Even at a young age two things were always by him, technology and food. This early exposure inspired him to go towards more creative pursuits.

In college Charles decided to go to Johnson and Wales University where he studied to become a chef. When he graduated he helped open two restaurants in Denver Colorado and immediately fell in love with the landscape and people. An unfortunate accident during a busy evening in the restaurant forced him to take a break from the cooking scene. While walking downtown, out of work and not doing much else, Charles stumbled on a used camera shop, he spent $100 on an old Canon AE-1, a couple of zoom lenses and a few rolls of film and he went off to learn more about photography in such an inspirational landscape.

Fast forward a few years and Charles is working as a working freelance photographer for events and magazines, when a line producer for a TV show approached him and offered him a position to be a behind the scenes photographer for a sit com. At first Charles thought it might be a joke, but he ended up working in film and TV for almost 10 years.

In between seasons of filming and photographing freelance, Charles and his family stumbled upon Drones and Aerial Cinematography, immediately he geeked out about the possibilities of flying cameras in the air and seeing a different perspective on the world. A viral video of some French DIY drone pilots flying around a forest at 60 miles per hour ignited inspiration in him and inspired him to start a Drone racing business. Through his social media presence he was able to connect with like-minded individuals that are excited about the technology that is forthcoming. Through Instagram he met his two future business partners and with their combined efforts created the largest community of drone racers in the world called the International Drone Racing Association. At its peak they were able to grow the market from about 10,000 pilots to nearly 300,000 pilots worldwide. They created world-class events from the US, to Asia, to the Middle East in Dubai.

Now he's come back to his original passion, photography, and cinematography. When the opportunity to work for Canon came up Charles dropped everything and decided to take this path to inspire other creatives like him to learn the tools that they have and create stories that will live on beyond their time. Charles is currently at Canon Burbank as the new Senior Trainer, providing on site support and lessons.